BRADENTON, Fla. —While most Florida Commission on Offender Review
decisions are made during hearings without the inmate present, parolees whose
supervision terms are being reviewed sometimes do show up in person.
Five of the 33 cases being considered during a
hearing on Oct. 9 related to inmates who were already out on parole. Parole in Florida is considered an act of grace by the state,
not a right. According to state rules, parolees are not allowed to
possess firearms or ammunition, use drugs or alcohol, or even “enter any
business establishment whose primary purpose is the sale/consumption of
MIAMI — An hour south of Miami, down the
street from an alligator farm, a security guard buzzes visitors into the
Homestead Correctional Institution. Each guest’s bags are run through a rickety
metal detector and he or she is issued a panic button — a portable alarm that
can be clipped to a waistband and pressed if an inmate attacks.
The visitation room looks like an elementary
school cafeteria, its concrete-block walls painted with murals of Marvel
superheroes and Minions. As soon as Marian Dolce slides into her plastic chair,
flashing a warm smile, it’s obvious the panic button won’t be needed. She’s
wearing light blue scrubs. Her white hair is in a jaunty ponytail atop her
head. She says she just got a new “bunkie” — a cellmate. She comes off as
downright girlish for a 66-year-old murderer.